How to Easily Create an Effective Google Analytics Dashboard | From a Fortune 500 Digital Analyst

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The go-to setup using the Google Analytics dashboard feature.

00:00 Intro
00:54 Basic Dashboard Structure
01:51 Out-of-the-Box Dashboard
03:25 Creating the Dashboard
04:50 Creation Timelapse
06:40 Dashboard Layout Details
09:24 Conclusion

You can slow down the Creation Timelapse section (04:50) if you want to see how each widget is actually created.

COMMENT on your preferred dashboard layout or what you like to see in your dashboard.


This Google Analytics dashboard is useful for any size project or business. The dashboard structure I use is based on the ABC’s of web analytics, courtesy of Avinash Kaushik who’s a digital marketing evangelist for Google. He has a webpage about a digital marketing and measurement model where he mentions the following: A stands for acquisition, which refers to how traffic reached the web property and how much of it there is; B is behavior, which refers to user behavior and how users interact with the web property; C stands for conversions, which tells us the outcomes of the user journey, as in whether they converted or if they left without engaging.

Google Analytics gives you a homepage with a dashboard. It’s a nice-looking dashboard with all kinds of charts and data tables. Based on what most people track in their Google Analytics accounts, I think Google has done a great job creating a dashboard that probably appeals to most people accessing your Google Analytics account. As you can see, there’s a good amount of information here but again depending on the maturity of your web product, some of these widgets will be more useful to you than others.

–Creating the Dashboard–
Typically, I set up the dashboard reading from top to bottom. This way I’m only scrolling in one direction.

So, to create our own dashboard we’ll do that by clicking on customization in the left navigation menu and dashboards in the drop-down. Click Create and let’s select “blank canvas”, simply name this overview, and click Create Dashboard. It automatically brings up this window or modal so you can create your first widget for your dashboard.

You can link each widget to an actual Google Analytics report if you please. Unfortunately, you can’t label a group of widgets or specific sections of the dashboard but you can tell what each of these widgets convey by their respective titles.

At the top of the dashboard, we have the acquisition widgets that tell us characteristics about the traffic that arrives on the web property–how much traffic there is, how traffic is trending over this time frame, and where it’s coming from as far as the web channels of the traffic sources and the countries of the users.

The Behavior widgets tell us how users are engaging, whether the traffic is staying around with the bounce rate, which is the rate at which users leave the site after viewing the first page without any interaction; if they are staying around, their average session duration and the number of pages viewed per session over this time frame; and any actions that users might take while on the web property. Seeing data for these events in this widget does require adding some customized tracking with a tag manager or developer support.

The conversion or outcome widgets tell us how the user journey ends. Now, you’ll also have to define what a conversion or goal completion is in order to populate the data here but these widgets show whether your users are achieving a desired outcome or goal with the conversion rate, which you can set as an e-commerce conversion rate or other conversion rates if you don’t have an e-commerce component.

There are widgets for how goal completions are trending over the time frame, traffic channels and their respective number of goal completions or conversions along with the conversion rate, and the device categories with their respective number of conversions and conversion rates. You can change goal completions to transactions if you have an eCommerce site as the last widget shows revenue and transactions over time. The difference between goal completions and transactions, however, is for another video.

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution but this should still give you guidance on how to configure your own overview dashboard. Your Google Analytics dashboard configuration depends on what kind of web property you have, the maturity or stage of your product, and what’s important for you to track.

By: Growth Learner
Title: How to Easily Create an Effective Google Analytics Dashboard | From a Fortune 500 Digital Analyst
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